Core House

We need subsurface knowledge to provide sustainable solutions for current social issues, such as climate change, the recycling of raw materials, and the energy transition. Researchers describe and study sediments from a few centimetres deep to rocks at depths of several kilometres, including their relevant properties and appearance. These are then compared to the geological material already stored in the Central Core House.

Large collection of sediment and rock samples

The Central Core House of the Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) is, as it were, the library of the subsurface. The Central Core House houses a huge collection of sediment and rock samples.  These samples have been collected over more than a century and originate from construction pits, drillings, and excavations from land and sea. They are supplied within the framework of research and GDN’s statutory task of managing data under the Mining Act. As such, they form a unique and ever-growing picture of the Netherlands’ shallow and deep subsurface, and are being preserved and made accessible for research today and in the (distant) future. 

Detailed image of drillings in silex concretions in chalk sediments.
Drillings in silex concretions in chalk sediments.

Descriptions and analyses

The stored materials comprise relevant selections of sediments, drilling cuttings, core slabs, drilling cores, and paint profiles. They are described in detail and sampled for further analysis in the lab in the Central Core House. Research into mechanical, physico-chemical, geophysical, and compositional properties, amongst other things, creates knowledge relevant to infrastructure, drainage, energy storage, and other applications.

Overview of impregnated drillings showing trace fossils.
Overview of impregnated drillings showing trace fossils.

Opportunities for research

There are facilities in the Central Core House for examining materials. The materials covered by the Mining Act can only be examined after their confidentiality period has expired. It is available for visual examination, description, and optional sampling. Microscopes (binoculars) are also available. There is sometimes even an option for researchers to take away grinding plates for further investigation elsewhere.

New: photos Rotliegend reservoir

Part of the collection can be viewed online. These are photos of cores from the Rotliegend reservoir of the Groningen gas field and its surroundings.

Do you have a question? Our Service Desk can help you. 


Visiting address
Leeuweriklaan 14, 3704 GR Zeist
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+31 (0)30 2518300